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*SPD vote seen paving way for new Merkel-led government. BERLIN, Dec 13- Nearly three months since an election forced her into coalition talks with rival Social Democrats, Angela Merkel is on the verge of securing a third term, a feat achieved by only two other German chancellors in the post-war era.
LONDON, Dec 13- Sterling fell on Friday, heading back towards a one-month low against the euro as higher short-term euro zone market rates lifted interest rate differentials in favour of the common currency. The euro rose 0.1 percent to 84.23 pence, not far from Thursday's one-month high of 84.315 pence.
LONDON, Dec 13- The dollar and euro rose to five-year highs against the yen on Friday, driven by upbeat U.S. data ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting next week and dwindling excess cash in the euro zone banking system. The dollar rose 0.2 percent to 103.59 yen, having hit 103.925 yen in Asian trading, its highest level since October 2008.
*Morgan Stanley tops league table and highest fee earner. On the bright side, according to investment bankers interviewed by Reuters, the 2013 Asia acquisition arena was characterized by larger deals and a 13 percent rise in average fees earned per completed deal, according to Thomson Reuters calculations.
SINGAPORE, Dec 13- The currency carry trade is making a slow comeback in Asia although, unlike its popular pre-crisis version, punters are more selective in their investment targets for fear that market volatility could leave them with losses.
Dec 12- Shares of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, the world's largest hotel operator, rose more than 9 percent in afteroon trading during their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday. The stock climbed as high as $21.92 after Blackstone Group LP raised more than $2.3 billion in the year's second-biggest IPO.
Dec 12- Shares of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, the world's largest hotel operator, rose 7 percent in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday. The shares opened at $21.30 after Blackstone Group LP raised more than $2.3 billion in the year's second-biggest IPO. Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley led the IPO.
LONDON, Dec 12- Sterling rose on Thursday as investors took heart from recent positive data including upbeat forecasts from a business group, reinforcing the view that Britain's recovery is taking hold ahead of key numbers next week.
SINGAPORE, Dec 12- A former Morgan Stanley banker convicted of insider trading will have to pay more than 290 investors a total of HK $23.9 million they lost out on, a Hong Kong court ordered on Thursday, in an unprecedented legal ruling.
BANGALORE, Dec 12- Indian shares are forecast to scale new highs next year after elections, attracting offshore funds despite an expected rough period for emerging markets when the U.S.
SINGAPORE, Dec 12- U.S. crude futures eased on Thursday after losing more than a dollar in the previous session, as investors saw a steep decline in U.S. oil stocks as a move by refiners to avoid taxes rather than a sign of strong demand. *U.S. crude for January delivery was off 10 cents at $97.34 a barrel by 0049 GMT after dropping $1.07 on Wednesday.
Hilton Worldwide raised roughly $2.34 billion in its IPO on Wednesday after pricing shares toward the high end of the range.
*Moves in Europe, Australia clear the decks for new CEO Barra. DETROIT, Dec 11- With General Motors Co in recent days setting in motion big changes around the globe, the focus for new Chief Executive Mary Barra and her team will be making cars and trucks that prove popular enough to help end losses in Europe, analysts said.
LONDON, Dec 11- The euro inched higher against the dollar on Wednesday, driven by dwindling excess cash in the euro zone banking system, but fell against the yen as investors locked in profits from this year's rally. The euro was up 0.1 percent against the dollar at $1.3767, not far from the six-week high of $1.3795 it hit on Tuesday.
LONDON, Dec 11- The yen rose for a second day on Wednesday as global stock markets fell and as investors locked in profits from the dollar and euro's strong rallies this year against the Japanese currency. The dollar was 0.3 percent lower against the yen at 102.54 yen, while the euro was 0.4 percent down at 140.98 yen.
Regulators decided to exempt certain funds after Wall Street complained that an earlier draft would have applied to an unnecessarily broad swath of the industry, including many commodity pools, foreign registered mutual funds, securitized loans and corporate structures such as joint ventures.
WASHINGTON, Dec 10- U.S. banks will no longer be able to make big trading bets with their own money after regulators finalized on Tuesday a rule shutting down what was a hugely profitable business for Wall Street before the credit crisis.
WASHINGTON, Dec 10- Wall Street banks will need to prove to regulators that certain trades are done on behalf of clients and are not veiled speculative bets as part of the final Volcker rule that U.S. officials plan to adopt on Tuesday, a senior regulator said.
*WTI-Brent spread narrows as TransCanada fills pipeline. LONDON, Dec 10- Brent crude oil rose above $110 a barrel on Tuesday, recouping some of the previous session's losses- the sharpest in over five weeks. Brent for January was up 80 cents at $110.19 a barrel by 0952 GMT, having risen briefly by more than $1 to $110.45.
SINGAPORE, Dec 10- Brent crude rose toward $110 a barrel on Tuesday, recouping some of the previous session's sharp losses, as data from China reaffirmed signs of stabilising growth and fuel demand in the world's second-largest oil consumer.